Thursday, March 26, 2009

Favoritism and Faith

In James Chapter two it mainly talks about two things 1) favoritism forbidden and 2) faith and deeds. I'm going to try to make this post a little shorter because I know it took 2 posts to get Chapter 1 done and they were both pretty lengthy. But I still want to cover the meaningful bits and pieces. So please! Help me be better at this and leave comments!

James 2:2-4 - "Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. (3) If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, 'here's a good seat for you,' but say to the poor man, 'you stand there' or 'sit on the floor by my feet,' (4) have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?"

It goes on to say in verse 8 that if we really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself" then you are doing right. God is the judge and he is the only one with that power. We are most often wrong in our judgements of people and a lot of time it's not our place to deliver justice. Their time will come and God is the only one who knows the true desires of the heart.

So when we play favorites and discriminate against each other, we are only doing ourselves harm. Jesus loves everyone and being obedient children, we should learn to love everyone too. It's not always easy, especially if you feel like you've been wronged by someone and they don't deserve your love. But just remember that no one deserves God's love and yet he gives it to us freely.

James 2:12-13 - "Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, (13) because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!"

Mercy: compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence.

It says in James 2:14-15 that a man who's faith is unaccompanied by deeds s like a brother or sister without clothes or daily food.

James 2:18b-19 - "Show me a faith without deeds, and I will show you my fath by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder!"

The demons believe in one God too? That line stood out to me the first time I ever read this passage. And it still sticks out to me. We think of Devil and his demons as being evil and we don't really think that they too know the truth because they are so filled with hate and deciet.

But on another note, we can't allow ourselves to have empty faith. We can say that we believe in one God, but if that is all we do and we do nothing to change our ways, then are we no better off than the demons? It is so important to believe in Jesus Christ and it is of equal importance to do what he asks. His simple requests (and sometimes not so simple ones too) are only meant to help us along in our journey. But by rejecting his law and his requests, we are only filling our own selfish needs which gets noone nowhere.

In the 25th verse James talks about Rahab. She was a prostitute who helped some spies when they desperately needed it, and her deeds made some consider her righteous for what she did. I have the verse right after that high lighted because it's kind of haunting to me.

James 2:26 - "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

And on that note, I will let you formulate your own opinions and questions. And if you have information or think something I've said is incorrect, feel free to leave a comment. I'd love to learn more about the Bible.

1 comment:

  1. This isn't exactly relevant, but I just realized last year that Rahab was Boaz's mother. No wonder he was so willing to marry an outsider like Ruth. He didn't look down on her for being a Moabitess, or for being poor. He had compassion on her immediately and set forth a plan to care for her and Naomi. She acted on her faith by following Naomi and doing as she asked. Boaz acted on his faith by marrying Ruth. And they ended up being the ancestors of Jesus. Just something to think about.


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